I know, it’s been over a year since I was in college, so you might think this post is a little irrelevant, but it’s not. It was through school that I originally discovered Evernote and throughout college, I carried it with me (minus one semester where Laney convinced me to try Onenote). My college experience would have been totally different without it. Today, let’s talk about how I was using Evernote in college and what I would add now to make the experience better.
I originally started using Evernote in high school, I believe, taking notes and typing them up from class so I could have two copies while I was studying for the AP exam. There was no organizational system at all.
HOW I USED evernote in college
My use in Evernote picked up in 2013 when I had a note-heavy lecture class. By my last semester in college, I was using it for all my classes. PDFs from Blackboard were added in there, and I was quickly adding everything into Evernote.
So, what exactly can you put into Evernote?
Your notes for class. I always broke it up by the class itself, so each time I went into the class, a new note was made. I would title it the name of the lecture. If the lecture went over (say from Monday’s class to Wednesday), I’d finish the lecture in the note and when we started a new slideshow, I’d start a new note.
Your syllabus! If your teacher adds your syllabus online as a pdf, you can download and clip it to Evernote by dragging the document onto the Evernote icon (at least for mac). You can annotate it to highlight important information. If there’s a firm deadline for a project, you can set a reminder for it on that note.
You can write assignments down. For online classes where used Blackboard, I would write my assignments in Evernote so I could keep a “copy” of the assignment.
Looking back at my notebook for the last semester, I also added notes for meetings. If you have a smartphone, you can take pictures of paper in the Evernote app and import them into Evernote with ORC (so Evernote software can recognize text in an image).
If I was still in school
One thing that I would definitely add to my Evernote process is the recording of lectures. Sometimes professors talk fast or you’re writing down one note and miss the next part. By recording a lecture, you can go back and get all the notes.
With this, PDF copies of notes plus my own notes I took during class would almost be like recreating the class itself.
Evernote and Google Drive now work together so you can add bookmarks to files in Google Drive in an Evernote note. I personally don’t use Google Drive for a lot of things, but this is what it looks like (down below). If your school uses G Suite, this would work wonderfully for yourself or in a collaboration setting.
How I organized all my school notes
It took a while to figure out the system I wanted to use, but I ended up using a combination of Notebooks, Stacks, and tags. It was during my time at school that I really got started with tags (Which is how I organize all my notes now).
You might organize by class, but the further I got in my college career, the more I wanted to have all my notes in one. So I switched to doing notebooks by semester.
This worked really well my last semester when so many of my classes interconnected. I was able to see all my notes for that semester in one container. When professors would mention things I learned in classes, having all the notes on that one sidebar was helpful. I used tags to organize by class. These tags could probably be updated now, but that’s a project for another time.
I could have done it by class and tagged it with the semester, but I didn’t find that to be as effective for me the Semester notebook.
The coolest thing to me about Evernote (still) is the fact that I could use it for more than just school. I started using it for the blog, for my career, and eventually my pen name and series.
The possibilities with Evernote are endless and there is so much you can do with that.